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A New Look At Doubting Thomas

How many years had I had a dim view of Thomas the Doubter. Too many. While preparing for a study for Church on Wednesday night, my eyes were opened to the man Thomas truly was. I had heard too many references about his doubting and that had clouded my thoughts on Thomas.

Let me show you a few things about Thomas that are seldom mentioned. John 11:14-16, Jesus has the desire to go see the family of Lazarus. The disciples objected on the grounds that the Jews wanted to kill Jesus. All except Thomas. His reply – “let’s go die with him.”

How often is this quoted of this great man. Now I say great for these four reasons.

1. He displayed a fervent love for the Master. (Do you?)

2. He was ready to act. (Are you?)

3. He was ready to give an expression to his faith by death. (Will you?)

4. He opposed the other disciples in their faithlessness. (Would you?)

John 14:5,6 – Where Jesus said “Let not your hearts be troubled …..I go to prepare a mansion for you … ” Jesus finished this up by saying “And whither I go ye know and the way ye know. Thomas made two revealing statements at this point – “Lord, we don’t know where you are going. – How can we know the way?” Here are some points on this statement.

1. Thomas was anxious about the Lord leaving him. (Are we anxious when we drift from the Lord?)

2. Thomas desired the truth. (Do we desire the truth?)

3. Jesus answer was bigger than the question. “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.”  ( Are you on this way, in this truth, and truly living and going to see the Father. There is only One way.)
To know Christ is to know the Goal and the way to it.
John 20:24-31 records The doubt that Thomas had. How hard we judge Thomas on this one account. Let our memory wander back to resurrection morning and two disciples from the inner circle racing to the tomb and experiencing wonder and doubt. How about when Peter denied Jesus three times. After the crucifixion and resurrection in there not a statement about the disciples remembering certain things that Jesus told them?
One thing that Thomas could not do was believe through the belief of others. Rush to verse 28 where Thomas says – MY LORD AND MY GOD.”
1. Instant dispersion of doubt.
2. Admiration.
3. Adoration.
4. Recognition of Supreme Diety.
My respect for Thomas has been elevated. He had courage and strength of conviction.
May we all desire these fine points of Thomas.


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Helpless and Cannot Enter

John 3:5 – Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Jesus statement to Nicodemus is very clear in what it does not say. it does not say: you must be born of water and church membership to enter the kingdom; you must be good or perform good works to enter the kingdom; you must partake of the Lord’s Supper to enter the kingdom; you must be baptized to enter the kingdom. This passage very simply says; “…Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”

The statement of Jesus that a man be born of water has already been shown to be the natural birth that all experience when being ushered into this world as a baby. Therefore we must address the statement, “…and of the Spirit….”

John 16:8 says that when the Spirit comes, He will convict the world of sin. This conviction brings a response of acceptance or rejection. Acceptance brings the “New Birth” spoken of by Jesus. We experience a New Birth by the Spirit. This New Birth brings us into the family of God and ushers us into the kingdom of God.

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Born Of Water

I will address the issue of Nicodemus again. In John 3:1-8; Nicodemus came to Jesus and made a statement that Jesus had come from God. The reply of Jesus is very important to every man – ye must be born again. Nicodemus did not understand and questioned Jesus about Nicodemus mother, physical being able to do this. Here is where many start going wrong in this passage. Jesus speaks spiritual things and Nicodemus is speaking physical things. Jesus said one must be born of water and of the Spirit. Don’t go wrong here now. Jesus addresses Nicodemus physical application and extends the spiritual application. Born of water is the physical birth that each of us experienced when we were ushered into this sin decayed world. In the womb we lived in a sack of water. Yes! I know it was not literal water, okay? We always say “her water broke.”

Now Jesus points Nicodemus to the Spiritual New Birth. Notice verse 6 – that which is born of the flesh is flesh. The physical birth that Nicodemus spoke of. “that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit,” the Spiritual birth that Jesus was referring to. Keeping everything in context and reading the context helps us to not make a false interpretation of God’s Word.

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Evangelism reply

Bro. I have no problem understanding what was meant by the missionary. I have no problem understanding the story relating to the methods that are promoted. I do have a problem with the method in this – It requires a knowledge of the Quran. Taking this principle and extrapolating it means; if one talks to a Buddist, he must have studied Buddism to effectively tell them of Jesus; if Confusionism is the one being talked to then the study of Confusius is necessary. This is quite a large undertaking for the common and average person. So, I guess the question that I would have, what is God’s plan. Did He lay one out to be followed?

My answer is yes. Here is some scripture that was given to a young pastor:

2Ti 2:1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

2Ti 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

2Ti 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

2Ti 2:4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

2Ti 2:5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.

2Ti 2:6 The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.

2Ti 2:7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.

2Ti 2:8 Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:

2Ti 2:9 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.

2Ti 2:10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

2Ti 2:11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:

2Ti 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

2Ti 2:13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

2Ti 2:14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.

2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2Ti 2:16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

Notice verse 2 and the request that what has been taught by Paul and related to Timothy by others commit to faithful men who would teach others. We have that responsibility today. Again consider verse five and the striving for masteries, it has to be lawful. That is according to God’s plan not man’s plan. Verse 7 certainly means Godly understanding of Godly things and not the heresy of the world or the knowledge of murder, fornication, or lying. Knowledge of God is under consideration here. The putting in remembrance is the remembrance of the teachings about God the Father and His Son Jesus who died for us. Here in verse 14 it is made known to us that there are words that do not profit and actually subvert. Verse 15 the study we are commanded to do is in rightly dividing the Word Of Truth. Notice that within these verses there is not any command to study any other religion so that we might be effective.

God’s Plan is that the bearer of “The Good News Of A Crucified Savior,” must have experienced the New Birth. My contention is that the passages that led that person to be born again, he now knows and can tell others of his Savior. Jesus instruction to His first church is recorded in Matthew.

Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

The first “teach,” is not the same Greek word as the word “teach” in verse 20. The first teach is make disciples. What do we teach them to make them disciples? The death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The next teach is a general teaching that we are most familiar with and the command is “all things whatsoever I have commanded you…”. I do not find in this many of the things we practice today. The message that John the Baptist carried was – repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. In Matthew 10:7; Jesus sent the 70 and expressly told them – “And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Paul had something to say about this. 1Co 2:1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.

1Co 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

This statement of Paul’s should be sufficient for us. We find Paul referring to his experience of salvation and what he did afterward. But in Acts we find him testifying that he would meet with Jesus. Act 26:16 But235 rise,450 and2532 stand2476 upon1909 thy4675 feet:4228 for1063 I have appeared3700 unto thee4671 for1519 this5124 purpose, to make4400 thee4571 a minister5257 and2532 a witness3144 both5037 of these things which3739 thou hast seen,1492 and5037 of those things in the which3739 I will appear3700 unto thee;4671 Notice I will appear unto thee. Paul’s desire, apparently was to know Christ, to the extent of a face to face learning experience with Him.

Acts 4:12; the Peter and John were considered inlearned, and ignorant. Certainly, they did not know anything but Christ because they preached Him. Yet we find they were very effective in winning souls for the Lord.

Philip in Acts 8:11,12, went to the Samaritans and did not bother talking about their religion which we hear about from Jesus in John chapter 4. Jesus simply told the woman – “ye worship ye know not what.” So now Philip is in Samaria and he doesn’t bother with their beliefs, he tells them of Christ.

Philip dealt with the Ethiopian Eunuch and did not discuss his religion but told him of Christ. Those that were scattered abroad upon persecution preached the word – Acts 11:19-21. Paul reasoned from the scriptures. Acts 17:1-5. Paul told the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers of Jesus Christ. Acts 17:16-20 and Acts 18:28 Paul uses the Scriptures. Now may I direct your attention to Acts 20:23. “…the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city,…” .

When we decide we can help God, aide Jesus and do the work of the Holy Spirit, we are on the wrong road. By Scripture and example we are told and shown that we testify of Jesus Christ and let the Holy Spirit do the work of convicting. Jesus said to come learn of Him. When God said Isaiah 1:18 “Come let us reason together saith the Lord, though your sins be as scarlet…” Now God is not talking about some other religion, He is talking of His Son.

We Preach the Word of Faith (Romans 10:8) because we are told by the Scripture that “faith cometh by hearing” Romans 10:17 and verse 15 speaks of “glad tidings of good things and the gospel of peace” which certainly is the Gospel of Christ. May we always be ready to tell the reason of the hope that is within us.

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